Monday, April 16, 2007

Rumors Are Flying

First of all, let's all take a moment to pray for the victims and their families at Virginia Tech in a horrific crime that has again struck America. This transcends all sports and we hope that each playoff game tonight is preceded by a moment of silent prayer for the victims and their families. God bless them.

There are a bunch of rumors going around for tomorrow's Ranger, Thrasher game. It now seems that Bob Hartley will reinsert Kari Lehtonen back in the goal tomorrow night. I would have thought that he would have stayed with Johan Hedberg, but trying to out think or out guess Bob Hartley is beyond me. I guess he feels it is important to Lehtonen's psyche, and he may be right. After this is over he may have the sequel to Abbott and Costello's, 'Who's On First?'

The Rangers on the other hand seem to be set except for the fact that Blair Betts may be hurting. Betts only got 8:58 of ice time on Saturday and 2:42 of that was on the penalty kill. He only blocked one shot and lost four of seven faceoffs and both areas are his forte. If he sits, which Renney claims he won't, Ryan Hollweg would take his spot at center. Brad Isbister is also mentioned as a replacement, not only for Betts but also for Orr. My take is that if Betts is well leave everything alone and give Colton Orr more ice time. He only got 3:43 of ice time Saturday and when he has been given up to 7-8 minutes he usually performs well. Also when he gets more ice time the other team takes less liberties with the Rangers. While the addition of Hollweg would certainly improve our forechecking the question remains, whom do you sit? Hollweg is a hitter not a policeman.

It seems that Karl Rachunek is not quite ready to play and while Pock seemed a little tentative Saturday I believe that he will be fine playing in front of the home crowd. No question that the Thrashers will come out storming again. They cannot lose this game and will face a desperate do or die situation. The danger for the Rangers is that the Garden faithful doesn't over hype the team. Remember Jaromir Jagr's early season statement that the team tries to do too much when the crowd is roaring. Well guys, and Jagr, be ready because the Garden faithful will be raising the roof tomorrow night. But lets face it. You can't come home in any better situation than winning the first two games on the road.

ICINGS:

April 16, 2007
Newsday
Pumped For Garden Party
Daily News
Blueshirts Take High Road Home
NY Post
A Golden Opportunity At Garden
Journal News
Rangers Not Shaken Or Stirred



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